As a little girl, my grandparents always made sure I had a new outfit for Easter. That meant the dress, a hat, shoes, a purse, and gloves. I enjoyed shopping for a new Easter dress and even after so many years, I can remember what each dress looked like. In my child eye view of the world, I liked the pretty new clothes but it was just one step toward Easter Sunday. We prepared for Easter in several ways, in addition to new clothing. The adults planned the dinner, we dyed eggs, and on Easter, I always managed to find a basket left by the bunny. Once I discovered plastic Easter eggs, we hunted for those too, not just around Easter but into the summer. We hunted for those eggs in my aunt and uncle's back yard and my patient older cousin hid them for us, over and over again.

As a little girl, my grandparents always made sure I had a new outfit for Easter. That meant the dress, a hat, shoes, a purse, and gloves. I enjoyed shopping for a new Easter dress and even after so many years, I can remember what each dress looked like. In my child eye view of the world, I liked the pretty new clothes but it was just one step toward Easter Sunday. We prepared for Easter in several ways, in addition to new clothing. The adults planned the dinner, we dyed eggs, and on Easter, I always managed to find a basket left by the bunny. Once I discovered plastic Easter eggs, we hunted for those too, not just around Easter but into the summer. We hunted for those eggs in my aunt and uncle's back yard and my patient older cousin hid them for us, over and over again.
On Easter Sunday, I always attended church with my grandparents and that was always the centerpiece of the holiday.
Just as my family and I prepared to celebrate Easter with things of this world, the traditions continue. But, Lent is a season I understand much better as an adult than I did as a child. I now understand that Lent is a time to prepare for Easter as well but in a spiritual fashion.
We've entered the last week of Lent, the final stretch before the joy of Easter. In my faith, this is Holy Week.
On Sunday, we remember the triumphant entry of Jesus and his followers into Jerusalem and we have palms. There are hymns that we sing and it's the beginning of Holy Week.
Although it's a week long observance, the days become more significant as the week progresses and it's called the Easter Triduum. These last three days before Easter are significant.
Holy or Maundy Thursday is the day when we remember and re-enact the Last Supper. On Good Friday, we reflect on Jesus' arrest, trial, Crucifixion, suffering, death and burial.  It's the one day of the year when we don't receive the Eucharist. And, in case anyone should be wondering how all of the above happened in a single day, it's Jewish tradition. In the Jewish calendar, a day is from one sundown until the next so all of the events happened within a 24-hour time span.
On Easter or Holy Saturday, we keep vigil as His followers did over the tomb.
On Easter morning, we celebrate the Risen Christ with joy.
Holy Week is a time where I reflect on all the facets of Christ's life, the path that took him from Bethlehem to Calvary. At the end, at Easter, it's about the wonder and promise of his Resurrection but during Lent and during Holy Week, it's about His suffering and endurance and the sacrifice he made for me.
 This year we celebrate Easter on April 1. That hasn't happened in my lifetime although it has fallen on the date before. Easter and April Fools Day also coincided in 1956, 1945, and 1934.
As an adult, I don't always buy a new outfit for Easter but I do make an effort to look my best. When my children were younger, I followed the traditions of my grandparents with new clothing all around.
So, as we move through the days of Holy Week, we have Easter to anticipate after the Lenten season



Lee Ann Murphy is a staff writer and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.